SRP Champions of Energy Efficiency Awards

Congratulations to our 2017 award winners!

At this year's Champions of Energy Efficiency Awards and Luncheon, 15 innovative Valley businesses were recognized for saving money and conserving precious resources through SRP’s commercial energy efficiency rebate and ENERGY STAR® Homes programs.

Winners implemented improvements such as switching to LEDs, upgrading air conditioning units and teaching employees to go green. Being named an SRP Champion of Energy Efficiency is a significant achievement. These companies serve as excellent examples for other businesses to follow.

2017 winners

SRP values partnerships with all of the municipalities in its service territory. It is vital to work together to provide energy efficiency solutions so residents and businesses can thrive.

City of Mesa

The City of Mesa cares about being sustainable and has been a great partner of SRP. The collaboration has resulted in energy savings and cost savings for its taxpayers. By participating in SRP’s rebate programs, City of Mesa has found many ways to reduce energy use, such as by installing energy management systems, a high-efficiency computer room, an upgraded air-conditioning unit and LED fixtures. Since 2009, energy efficiency projects have saved the city nearly 5,000 megawatt-hours of energy, which translates to nearly $400,000 of annual energy cost savings.

The City of Mesa is excited and committed to looking for and implementing more opportunities to be more energy efficient. Also, through sustainability programs and education, Mesa encourages conservation throughout all its departments, in industrial sectors and directly to residents.

Large:
PetSmart Inc.
PetSmart is the largest specialty pet retailer. Along with making the lives of pets and pet owners better, PetSmart is also focused on improving the environment. PetSmart recently participated in SRP’s commercial energy-efficiency rebate program to earn the 2017 Most Energy Efficient Large Business award.

At PetSmart, cost-benefit analysis revealed that installing LED lights and motion sensors would yield big benefits without imposing any behavioral changes on employees — new water chiller systems also replaced inefficient evaporative coolers. This step alone is saving PetSmart more than 10 million gallons of water a year. PetSmart also implemented a recycling program for corrugated cardboard and plastic wrap, which resulted in more than 500 tons of material being recycled in the first half of 2017. 

Midsize:
Ace Vending

aking a 41,000-square-foot energy efficient warehouse in the Arizona desert is difficult, but Ace Vending rose to the challenge — then took its efforts on the road. The vending service operator bought a new warehouse in Gilbert about three years ago. As owners gutted the entire building they decided to make it fit their exact purposes, while being energy efficient. Ace Vending ended up building a solar parking structure that supplies 80 percent of the warehouse’s energy and saves an average of $4,000 a month.

By using SRP rebates for upgraded lighting and tax credits for the solar project, Ace Vending’s owners say they reduced their carbon footprint by 4,112 pounds of CO2 a year, which is equivalent to 418 vehicles off the road every year.

These two award-winning companies are honored for their ongoing commitment to energy efficiency. By leveraging the SRP rebate program year after year, these organizations build on their successes and accomplishments and continue to push sustainability into the future.

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo is committed to reducing its environmental impact. The banking and financial services holding company launched a sustainability action plan in 2012 and had its first LEED-certified property that same year. Wells Fargo has had to update its action plan several times since then, as goals continue to be exceeded.

From its 2008 baseline, Wells Fargo has reduced energy by 33 percent. Elements such as underfloor air distribution, LED lighting, lighting controls, sub-meters and intelligent building management contributed to energy-efficient accomplishments.

Circle K

Circle K has worked closely with SRP over the last several years. Capital investments have been expended to install efficient exterior LED lights, which significantly reduced energy usage and, in turn, Circle K’s energy footprint. It continues to upgrade both exterior and interior lights with LED lights, which makes its convenience stores better lit and more efficient.

Circle K has also made its walk-in coolers more energy efficient, as well as installing new ECM variable-speed motors and anti-sweat heaters to cut down on kilowatt hours. New recycling dumpsters and low-water-usage landscaping have also been added. Energy management systems and signage also help employees work toward being champions of energy efficiency.

Conservation and education drive the Littleton Elementary School District (LESD) to lead by example and reduce its overall energy consumption. LESD works diligently to be innovative in technology, whether in the classroom or with district facilities. LESD knows that an up-front investment often yields long-term payoff.

With SRP’s guidance, the school district got creative in ways to save energy and water. An irrigation monitoring system checks ground moisture to reduce over watering. Nearly all exterior lights have been replaced with LED bulbs. These innovative efforts, combined with SRP’s Commercial Rebate Program, have helped the district reduce its energy consumption by more than 30 percent. The district plans to continue making sustainable progress by eventually installing LED bulbs at every site. District leaders say it’s important to be good stewards of the resources taxpayers have entrusted it with, as well as be good models for the children and set a good example for its community.

Honors businesses that excelled in implementing energy-efficient technologies in their facilities to achieve among the highest energy savings compared to similar sized and types of businesses or organizations.

U-Haul
U-Haul has 12 sites engaged in multiple sustainable programs. More than 550 exterior lights were replaced with LED lights and now use 60 percent less energy. Motion sensors were installed to dim or turn off lights to save additional energy and outdated HVAC units were replaced with more energy-efficient models.
U-Haul also upgraded thermostats and insulation, and employees are continually encouraged to turn off and unplug electronics when not in use.

Dave’s Ace Hardware
Mesa’s local Ace Hardware store started its energy-efficient journey by simply changing outdated fluorescent light bulbs throughout the store to low-wattage LED bulbs — a practice it encourages its customers to do as well. Dave’s Ace Hardware also worked to cool the building earlier in the day so it could turn up the thermostat in the afternoon for cost savings.

Yeshiva of Phoenix, dba Torah Day School of Phoenix
Yeshiva of Phoenix has a mission to educate and prepare its students to be strong, observant Jews. They also seek to be good stewards of the environment. In partnering with SRP, Yeshiva leaders found that by installing programmable thermostats they’d qualify for SRP rebates and see a drop in electricity bills. By June 2017, the school’s energy bill was hundreds of dollars less than it was the previous year.

Additionally, LED rebates helped Yeshiva install more efficient lights and occupancy sensors throughout the school, further reducing energy use. The school also educates its students about sustainability practices to develop future leaders and champions of energy efficiency. 

SRP’s ENERGY STAR Homes® program certified more than 6,000 new homes last year. To learn more, visit savewithsrp.com.

David Weekley Homes

For more than 40 years, David Weekley Homes has built homes throughout the country and is a top-ranked national homebuilder. A long-standing partnership with SRP has been one element in making it a premier energy-efficient homebuilder in the Valley.

David Weekley Homes has been an SRP ENERGY STAR Home® partner since 2004. It has spent years researching and fine-tuning its building process to ensure ENERGY STAR Homes are affordable, use less energy and minimize the homebuyer’s carbon footprint. A straightforward and easy-to-use platform helps the homebuilder combine energy-efficient building techniques with building science principles to create its EnergySaver™ homes — homes that are friendly to both customers and the environment.

CalAtlantic Homes
In 2016, CalAtlantic homes built 131 ENERGY STAR® certified homes in SRP’s service territory. By installing energy-efficient measures, including spray foam insulation, tankless water heaters, low-E vinyl windows and 15 SEER air conditioners, CalAtlantic has improved its Home Energy Rating scores each year. 

Elliott Homes
The Elliot Homes Estates at Riverwalk community achieved the best average Home Energy Rating score last year of all communities in the SRP ENERGY STAR Homes program. Keeping environmental impact minimal has always been a top priority for Elliott Homes. Communities include parks, walking paths, native plant habitats and drought-tolerant plants.

Liberty Wildlife Association

Liberty Wildlife’s mission is to nurture the nature of Arizona. Its new Liberty Wildlife campus demonstrates a commitment to sustainability and to its new Rio Salado community, transforming a sand and gravel pit into an innovative environmental facility complete with smart thermostats, arid landscaping, reclaimed wood design, refillable water bottle stations and recycling measures.

The sustainable building even has a water-capturing harvesting system with two big cisterns that contain 90,000 gallons worth of water used for irrigation. Water conservation strategies have reduced potable water needs by more than 60 percent. By design, the complex utilizes solar tubes and natural lighting to reduce electricity bills. The LEED Platinum-certified project is operating 87 percent more energy efficiently than baseline models. Liberty Wildlife has participated in SRP’s lighting rebate programs, Solar for Nonprofits and has also taken advantage of rebates on electric vehicle charging stations.

This multifamily energy-efficiency program targets multifamily housing populations within SRP’s service territory that have been historically underserved because of various challenges. The program helps improve the facilities and provide tangible savings benefits to residents.

Indian Springs Apartments

By partnering with SRP, Indian Springs Apartments has improved energy efficiency in every apartment home and extends the cost savings and spirit of sustainability to all residents. The complex installed 2,600 CFL bulbs, 600 new showerheads and more than 1,000 faucet aerators in its 460-unit apartment community. As a result, the complex has experienced significant utility savings, including a 16 percent reduction in water consumption each year.

Built in 1980, managers say Indian Springs needed to be modernized. SRP supplied the parts and the corporate owners, Stratford Partners, completed the installation. In addition to the reduction in water consumption, the complex also expects to save about 160,000 kilowatt-hours of energy annually. All savings are passed on to the residents in the form of lower utility bills.

In June, SRP experienced a new system peak demand record of 7,219 megawatts. Energy efficiency is a valuable resource SRP relies on to help manage the growth of this peak demand over time. The new award recognizes the SRP Business Solutions Program participant and project that delivered the highest peak demand savings of all projects submitted.

Graham Packaging
Graham Packaging reduced its demand by more than 720 kilowatts. In 2016, the Tolleson-based business focused on saving energy on its cooling systems and pumps: older, smaller pumps were replaced with newer, larger pumps with variable-frequency drives.  That allowed the pumps to be turned down in the cooler months and up in the warmer months — and the 12 pumps never have to run at full speed. Accompanying the new pumps are new control systems controlled by a system-set pressure differential. The controls allow the pumps to adjust to plant conditions and manufacturing demand. The success of this project has Graham Packaging gearing up to expand energy efficiency in the future.

SRP is a community-based, not-for-profit public power utility and the largest provider of electricity in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, serving more than 1 million customers. SRP is also the metropolitan area’s largest supplier of water, delivering about 800,000 acre-feet annually to municipal, urban and agricultural water users.

Customer spotlight

Six 2017 award recipients share their experience partnering with SRP to become more energy efficient.